Chapter

The Ontological Argument

Robert Merrihew Adams

in Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126495
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195126491.003.0006
 The Ontological Argument

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Leibniz's version of the ontological argument, a modal argument for theism on which he worked most intensively in the 1670s, has two stages. The first, an “incomplete” proof, concludes that God can only be a necessary being, and therefore if God's existence is possible, then God exists. The second stage is an a priori argument that the existence of such a necessary God is indeed possible. Leibniz's fullest attempts at a possibility proof turn on his conception of a most perfect being, and the chapter concludes that they are not likely to succeed, in part because of difficulties in connecting the concepts of perfection and necessary existence.

Keywords: God; Leibniz; modal argument; necessary being; ontological argument; perfect being; possibility proof

Chapter.  11649 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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